UAE retail economy shows strongest growth in decade

The UAE retail economy is on track to record its strongest annual GDP growth since 2011, with e-commerce remaining at the forefront, despite global economic turbulence.

According to Majid Al Futtaim’s Q3 2022 ‘State of the UAE Retail Economy’ report, non-oil sectors are an integral part of this robust growth. Buoyed by the government’s efforts to foster an investor-friendly environment, the sector has been sustaining a strong focus on both digital and creative industries, which yielded the results reflected in the S&P Global UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index.

While inflation remains a concern for consumers, its intensity is decreasing. While 92 per cent of residents still report some level of anxiety they are adjusting their shopping habits accordingly by practising more caution in their shopping.

At the same time, e-commerce is growing apace, with sales forecast to increase by 22 per cent this year, exceeding $6 billion and putting the market on track to reach $9.2 billion by 2026. Spending in this segment surged by 34 per cent between January and September, compared with the same period last year, with sales now accounting for 11 per cent of total retail economy sales.

CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Group, Alain Bejjani, said: “Another strong quarter for the UAE retail economy showcases notable sector-wide resilience and reinforces the country’s steady march towards a return to sustainable growth.

“The continuation of forward-thinking government initiatives underpinning this progress is making the UAE highly attractive to international businesses – as are the government’s steps to become a sustainability leader in the Mena region.

“With all indicators pointing to a strong fourth quarter this year and the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, the UAE has put the pandemic-related turbulence firmly in the rearview. We only need to consider the ongoing opportunity, security, and safety this nation offers to see why the world continues to flock to the region to build their future here.”